Once upon a time I stumbled across a little something called eggplant bacon. Immediately I was all like “WHOA, WHAT?!?!” Did I just discover the blissful marriage between one of my all-time favorite vegetables and the most delicious edible ever? Because lets be honest folks, bacon is magic. Pure magic. Period. During my vegetarian years, the one thing I missed the most was bacon. Imitated, yes. Duplicated, never.
Several years ago I tried out various forms of this said “facon bacon” delight, and you know what? It tastes NOTHING LIKE BACON. After revamping and melding a few recipes, I came up with a damn good substitute for jerky and that made me a very happy girl! I’m not a big fan of jerky, it gets stuck in my teeth, makes my stomach uneasy, and leaves a weird aftertaste in my mouth. It is a big fat trifecta of no-thank-you-ness! But still, there is just something about jerky that makes me think I want to eat it… and then I’m immediately reminded as to why I don’t! Eggplant jerky satisfies my cravings without all the regret!
2-3 medium-sized eggplant, I like to use globe-shaped varieties.
1/4 cup neutral oil, such as sunflower, grapeseed, or safflower.
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup white rice vinegar
3 tbsp Worcestershire
1 tbsp water
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp liquid smoke
pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to incorporate, set aside. Wash and dry eggplant, cut off stem and blossom ends, and slice lengthwise into 1/4″ pieces. Slice in half again and marinate in spice mixture for 15 minutes, toss occasionally so that all pieces are well coated. Place on dehydrator trays in a single layer and turn up the heat to the veggie setting. Remove from trays once the eggplant is dry but pliable. Usually I let mine run overnight. Place in an airtight container for long-term storage.
Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge.